The city of Portland is pushing back on permits for sidewalk tables.
A new proposal in the city of Portland would crack down on restaurants, to make sure there is enough room for people to get by. The city staffer in charge of the sidewalk cafe proposal says the goal is to keep it moving forward through the budget process; Adams’ transportation director says the mayor is considering his options in the face of a budgetary crisis in which the transportation bureau in particular (which governs sidewalk issues) has been hammered by declining gas-tax revenues.
“What I can tell you is it’s something we are getting input on and something he will consider among (other) fees,” says Catherine Ciarlo, the transportation director in the mayor’s office. “What we are contemplating is very low compared with other cities in the U.S. — the starting fee is the fifth-lowest. Seattle’s is $551; ours is $155.”
The proposal also raises the cost of permits –
Current cost: $10 permit renewal annually
Future cost: $150 initial new application fee, plus $4.50 per linear-foot of cafe space occupied. Permit renewals would cost $75, plus $1.50 per linear-foot of cafe space.
You can read more information here.
According to The Portland Mercury, Paige Williams has been let go from Portland Monthly Magazine.
I’ve been wondering what was going on over there. Since well regarded former food writer then managing editor Camas Davis left, the quality of the food writing has gone downhill. The most recent issue was as thin as a wafer and the food writing abysmal. A review of Del Inti, the Peruvian restaurant on Alberta street, reads like it was written by a high school student. Another article featured Vitaly Paley with a recipe for, brace yourselves, Cedar Planked Salmon – not in an “irony” or “retro” tone. I felt like I was reading the Silver Palate Cookbook circa 1980. If that’s the best Paige could do, no wonder she’s gone.
Evan Zimmerman is leaving Teardrop Lounge
He’ll be running the bar at the new Laurelhurst Market and Butchershop. Evan was at PX in Washington DC prior to joining Teardrop Lounge. He’s a good guy, and that he’s joining the Laurelhurst team says good things about that project. Troy MacLarty who recently left Lovely Hula Hands, will also be helping with the opening of Laurelhurst. They are building quite the powerhouse of talent.
Portland Burgerville Chain adding upscale menu items
Burgerville’s, most recent PR gave me pause. It seems they are adding two “gourmet” seasonal food combinations to their menu each month, each of which will feature a locally produced ingredient.
The introduction of seasonal, gourmet menu items began in February with the Yukon & White Bean Basil Burger vegetarian patty which was supplied by Chez Gourmet, a Wilsonville, Oregon-based company run by Marie Osmunson. A Rosemary Chicken Sandwich and Rosemary Shoestring Potatoes were available throughout the month of March and in April, are enjoying a Spinach Florentine Breakfast Pastry as well as a Spring Spinach and Chicken Salad (photos attached).
For the Spinach Florentine Breakfast Sandwich, local and organic spinach comes from Stahlbush Island Farms, located in Corvallis, Oregon. Stahlbush Island Farms also provides Burgerville with its pumpkin sauce for its Fall seasonal items. The Spinach Salad is made from fresh, local and organic baby spinach from Spring Hill Farms in Albany, Oregon. The local Cranberries are from Meduri Farms, Dallas, Oregon and the Blue Cheese comes from Rogue River in Central Point, Oregon.”
I think it is very cool to live in a city where the local burger chain does stuff like this. They will supposedly have asparagus in May.
Playboy Magazine has named Jeffrey Morganthaler of Clyde common as one of the top bartenders in the United States.
Jefferey is a long-term Oregonian, who recently moved from Eugene to take over the bar program from Kevin Ludwig at Clyde Common. Jeffrey is the bar manager at Pépé le Moko and Clyde Common, the acclaimed gastropub at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon. He is also the author of The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique.
I remember reading that Burgerville is going to over lightly battered and fried asparagus, along with a sandwich that uses them….looking forward to that!
I might even try the asparagus—and I’m not a big fan of Burgerville’s. But they’d win me back if they ever brought back the parmesean portabello mushrooms (last seen some 9 years ago). THOSE were yummy!!!
I’m annoyed with Burgerville for two things these days: they eliminated huckleberry shakes a couple years ago and today they offer “fresh” strawberries. Fresh? Really? From whence? For a place that touts local fresh things, they sure love to abuse and devalue that word.
Their “fresh” food is sometimes mighty tepid by the time it gets to you. Plus for fast food (and they ARE) they’re REALLY expensive!!!
“fresh frozen” from Stahlbush Island Farms most likely.
cracking down on crowded sidewalk seating? oh no! there goes 50% of the seating at porque no on mississippi!
Jeff Shultz says
Bad link on the Foodday article – need to get the lead http out of it.
Food Dude says
For the city sidewalk inspectors, two words: Piazza Italia. Let me say it a little louder: PIAZZA ITALIA.
Blatant summertime sidewalk pigs. Clearance between the two rows (yes, two rows) of tables is negligible. If you didn’t know better, you’d think they own that sidewalk.
Regarding Ten-01: Chef’s been there a month. His staff has been cooking his new dinner menu for about two weeks–and already a double thumbs down? Ouch. That’s gotta set some kind of downgrade-speed record. FWIW, I’ve been once with the new menu. Found it a bit fussier than Jack Yoss’s, but didn’t think much beyond that. Well, I did think that I miss the Thai ribs and spicy almonds, but that’s about it.
BLITZ in the PEARL gets my vote for bad sidewalk hogs. Or is it Deschutes? Maybe both.
PF Changs in the Pearl is pretty bad, too – their tables prevent one from walking under the awnings when it is raining (but they aren’t seating outside).
You can and should complain to the city about this. It’s a handicapped access issue. I know they are cracking down on Greek Cusina for that (among 150 other infractions!)
regarding complaining about not being able to walk under PFCHANGS awnings due to their tables… you do realize that PFChangs.. um .. OWNS the awnings on its property right? Complain if you must about not having reasonable access to sidewalk but not being able to be as a non customer under the awning that the business owns in the first place???!
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
qv. the sidewalk area, including the air rights, UNDER awnings are OWNED and under the jurisdiction of the City – they are considered public-rights-of way not private ownership. PF Changs doesn’t own the sidewalk area. In addition, the City has some very clear and very specific laws concerning sidewalk usage and food businesses.
So, please by all means, if someone feels access is restricted and PF Chang’s or any other establishment is breaking the law, do complain to the City. It’s an issue of safety, as well as handicapped access. It’s also rude to block the sidewalk. It’s especially rude to see people with wheelchairs not able to get down the sidewalk because some restaurant is breaking the law.
Here’s how to complain: Contact Street Systems Management
Phone (503) 823-7002 Option 5
Fax: (503) 279-3968
There appears to some confusion so I’ll make it easy. Here’s the City’s sidewalk cafe permit code summary. Sidewalk Cafés are covered in section 17.25 of City Code. It’s also available here online: http://www.portlandonline.com/Transportation/index.cfm?a=82681&c=38718
“A sidewalk café is defined as a permitted area within the public right-of-way consisting of tables and chairs where patrons may be served food and/or beverages from an adjacent café or restaurant. The permit fee is $10 per calendar year. Sidewalk cafes typically consist of tables and chairs arranged in a single row on the sidewalk. City Code states that it is unlawful for any person to operate a sidewalk café on any public street or sidewalk within the City of Portland without first obtaining a valid permit from the City Engineer. The area to be considered must:
* Be directly adjacent to a café or restaurant
* Have 10-12 foot sidewalk width or greater
* Provide a clear pedestrian passageway of at least 6 feet (8 feet on the bus mall and high pedestrian areas )
The sidewalk café operator shall:
* Ensure that the sidewalk café does not interfere with pedestrians or limits their free and unobstructed passage
* Keep the area around the café clean
* Remove tables, planters, fences, chairs, carpet, etc. from the public sidewalk area at night and when not in use
* Provide trash containers for use by café patrons if throw-away utensils, cups, and plates, etc. are used.
I was responding to the person complaining not about sidewalk obstruction but that the tables & chairs of PF Changs kept her from walking under the awning. NOT the sidewalk. Under the awning. The awning owned by PF Changs, presumably meant for their customers, not as an umbrella substitute.
Here is the quote I was responding to “PF Changs in the Pearl is pretty bad, too – their tables prevent one from walking under the awnings when it is raining”
Not “their tables prevent people from walking on the sidewalks”. Assuming they have a valid permit they have every right to put THEIR chairs under THEIR awnings even if it does prevent non customers from using it as a bus shelter. The rules you put forth have nothing to do with the complaint I was addressing.
That is all.
As to the sidewalk and all the “airspace” being public domain. Once the permit is issues, and if the business is in full compliance the space the permit has been issued for becomes a part of the business while the business is operating.
For example… I’m looking right at you folk who think its ok to plop down on a business’ sidewalk seating and eat take out food you got elsewhere. It really just IS NOT.
Of course the city owns the sidewalk — and the business has to pay for it. The business pays for it to be built. If the city tells them there needs to be a tree there, the business has to pay for it to be put in, pay for it to be maintained, pay for it to be replaced if it dies or if someone destroys it. If someone slips and falls on ice, the business gets sued. Just another case of a business not getting the full rights to something it has the full responsibilities for. If there are shared rights, shouldn’t there be shared responsibilities, ie, everyone vis a vis the city pays for it? Adding insult to injury, the city is raising the rates they charge for restaurants to use the sidewalk they pay for but don’t own.
Bonne Femme.. did your response to my statement disappear? It was here a few hours ago?!
So let me get this straight. If I remember correctly, you went 6 times to decide if Ten01 is/was your ROY, but only once(after less than a month under the new chef’s helm) to decide that it deserves 2 down arrows!?
Such haste makes it hard to give any subsequent “reviews” much weight.
Perhaps I should let the Food Dude answer this, but I’ll take a crack at it. Correct me if I’m wrong about any of this, FD.
CO, the arrows are indicative of FD’s most recent informal visit to that restaurant prior to writing the official review. Two down-arrows does not mean the restaurant is a “two-thumbs down” establishment. It only means that his most recent visit was considerably worse than the previous. That’s all. If he goes back again and the food is amazing, I’m sure you’ll see that upward arrow next to Ten01’s name.
Food Dude says
Thank you Adam, you are exactly right. They indicate whether I think the restaurant has gotten better or worse since I did my review. Just indicators, and they may swing like a weather vane depending on what I find in subsequent visits.
Except that what you say here doesn’t convey the same idea as what Adam says. He says that they’re only indicative how your last meal was compared with your review. You say that they indicate whether the place has gotten better or worse. But a meal is not a restaurant or necessarily indicative of how a place is doing.
The arrows suggest a trend. I think that’s how most people would read them. However, one meal is not a trend. May be correct, but it’s really not enough info. And I would guess that you’re less likely to return to a place (Ten 01 may be an exception here as you’re likely to re-review it) that does get down arrows, meaning that your one meal causing a place to get two down arrows may sit there for a while mis-directing people.
Food Dude says
Ok, I’m still without a computer and doing this from my iPhone as well as dealing with the flu, so bare with me here. All I meant about Teardrop was that I’ve heard from multiple sources that an owner there pissed off someone from a newspaper. He’s also alienated lots of the bartenders in town, hence, some backlash. I never said it wasn’t as good as it has ever been; I go there on a regular basis.
I had B-Ville’s Rosemary Chicken sandwich and it was pretty good. I have to mention though, that I wrote them complaining about their usual chicken sandwich – which is awful – and they wrote back thanking me for my input about their salads.
My office is in an inconvenient location to food, and it’s great to have the B-ville option and their commitment to sustainable packaging helps me feel better about eating fast food. Seriously, their three bin set-up should be everywhere by now.
hope you get better soon. we love your site. we tell everyome we meet at wine tastings & food evebts.
thanx for your vigilence & candor. have you been to cafe 401(brownlow’s), yet?
Flank Steak says
Food journalism in Portland is at an all-time low. Mix and the Oregonian have been all over it for the past few months. Willamette Week is ameteur toilet paper without relevance, and Portland Monthly hasn’t been worth reading for a few months. Why don’t editors see the need in consistent food coverage written by people who actually know something about food? This is a food town. It’s important.
Thank God for this site. It really is our ear to the ground.
Because most people who really know food are lousy writers, and those who aren’t are expensive. No one in town, not Portland Monthly, Willamette Week, The Merc or the Oregonian, has much of a freelance budget right now. All newspapers are dependent on ad sales for income, and ad sales nationwide are in the toilet. They aren’t skinny or using cheap writers because they’re lazy—there’s just not enough money. Restaurant reviews are really, really expensive. You want better food writing? Either buy some ads or start pitching stories (but don’t expect to get paid very well).
Willamette Week just put out a really useful guide to food shopping, more comprehensive than anything else I’ve seen on ethnic markets and the like, including the hinterlands that often get overlooked. They’ve also started using a blogger, SauceSupreme, to cover hidden gems such as, most recently, Thanh Son Tofu.
Patrick Coleman over at the Mercury has been on top of things, emphasizing places that should be covered but aren’t always, like, most recently, Taste of Jakarta. And he’s blogging, too, keep things more “relevant”.
The Oregonian has been doing their job as a daily to cover the big stuff, but they’re also doing a much better job than I ever remember them doing covering the rest as well, using their Platter and Cheap Eats to cover all kinds of places and keep people informed of comings and goings.
I can remember not even 5 years ago when I never learned anything from the papers. That’s when sites like this and PortlandFood.org and Extramsg.com were most relevant. Sure, the papers get a lot of leads and information off the interweb now, but they also learned a lot from what we were doing.
Meanwhile, FD is putting out less than one review a month. The rest are snippets of news, half or more available elsewhere first, sometimes even linked to the sources you’re saying aren’t relevant.
If people don’t give the mainstream media sources their due for what they do right, they may just resign themselves to putting out minimal effort that will get them the same negative response.
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
qv, gotcha. Thanks for clarification, that wasn’t clear in your response.
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
qv, I’m still seeing my two responses to you. These thread chains are confusing for me…
yeah was weird… I saw you responded.. then had to go…then came back to read it and it wasn’t where it was before. FD explainedit to me. Thamks!
Food Dude says
Moved many of the Ten 01 comments over to that thread.
I was the waiter at a Burgerville wine/beer/food pairing a few months ago.
It was as odd as it sounds, only more so.
I only work the good ones.